Local Music

There's a young and vibrant music scene right here in Utah. From Provo to Ogden and beyond, bands are playing in house concerts, live venues and local record labels are making them available to the public. RadioWest brings some of the newest and the best bands into the studio to talk about and to play their music live.

Two years ago, tragedy struck musician Lyndsi Austin and her family when one of her older brothers passed away. Many of the lyrics she wrote for the debut album of her band Big Wild Wings express her sense of loss. She says making music helped her cope with the grief. While Big Wild Wings tackles some heavy subject matter, the trio’s big, airy sound and Austin’s “angst-y angel” vocals have landed them in the local music scene spotlight. The band joins us Tuesday to play some songs and talk about them.

Fictionist’s Stuart Maxfield says it’s strange that music isn’t actually about making music these days. In 2011, the Utah band was a semi-finalist in a Rolling Stone cover contest and was signed by Atlantic Records. But Maxfield says they were still outsiders, and their album languished as the label tried to homogenize their sound. Atlantic has dropped them, but it’s not slowing Fictionist down. They’ve just released a new album, and Thursday, they join us live to play the new music they’re making.

Mideau

Dec 17, 2013

We continue our series on local music on Wednesday with Provo electro-pop duo Mideau. Their debut LP was one of the most buzzed-about albums of 2013. At its core, the band is Provo-based singer-songwriter Libbie Linton and sonic wizard Spencer Harrison, who lives in Washington DC. They digitally bridged the distances between them to create soaring and experimental music inspired by life’s mundane moments. Mideau will join us in-studio, and we’ll review some of the best local releases of the year.

Pentagraham Crackers

Oct 30, 2013
Logan Sorenson/www.lmsorenson.net

Depression, darkness and disillusionment are frequent subjects in Nick Neihart’s song lyrics. Neihart fronts SLC-based band Pentagraham Crackers, and like a lot of artists, he’s had to scrimp by as he’s struggled to make a living, confront the expectations of family and society, and leave his artistic mark on the world. But there’s a glitter of hope shining through the broken relationships and wilting beauty central to Pentagraham Crackers’ punk rock tunes. Neihart and his band join us Thursday to play some music and talk about it.

Drew Danburry

Jul 30, 2013
<a href="markjohnstonphoto.com" target="_blank">Mark Johnston</a>

For a while there, singer-songwriter Drew Danburry was jaded with making new music. His 2010 album “Goodnight Danii” felt like a high water mark, and he was bummed when it didn’t catch on. Later that year, he put out a punk album under the name Bastian Salazar. It’s been three years since Drew Danburry made a record, but he’s back now, and the album he’ll release this September tells the story of how he became Bastian Salazar. Confused? Well, Drew Danburry will join us on Wednesday to play some music and explain his connection to Bastian Salazar and the Japanese actor Yōsuke Kubozuka.

Joshua James

May 8, 2013

Thursday on RadioWest, we continue our Local Music series with singer-songwriter Joshua James. A Nebraska native, James found both his musical inspiration and his urban-homestead-on-the-range when he moved to Utah a decade ago. He’s since released a number of critically-acclaimed records that showcase his vibrant sonic palette, incredible vocal range and diverse musical inspirations. James’ folksy indie Americana tunes are drawn from his life on the farm, where birth, growth, death, decay and harvest all tell their own stories.

Polytype

Feb 12, 2013

You hear a lot about the Provo music scene these days, and for lots of good reasons. The band Polytype is one of those reasons. You could classify them as electronic indie music—heavy on the synthesizers, heavy on the effects processors—but they also play the standard rock instruments, guitar and bass. A lot of people say Polytype’s sound reminds them of Radiohead, and it’s a sound that, until now, Provo had never produced. Polytype joins us in-studio Wednesday to explore how the Provo music scene is evolving, and, of course, to play some of their music. 

Book on Tape Worm

Jan 2, 2013

Provo-based band Book on Tape Worm’s music has been called "slumber-pop," but not because it will lull you to sleep. Their songs are lush and melodic, and, like the best dreams, they sweep from soothing tranquility to energetic grandeur. Book on Tape Worm released their eagerly anticipated first album late last year, and they’ll join us on Thursday to talk about their music and about their Slumber Party concerts. We’ll also talk to Austen Diamond of City Weekly and Velour Gallery’s Kaneischa Johnson about the best local music in 2012.

Secret Abilities

Oct 2, 2012
Moda Photography

The Layton-based band Secret Abilities has some creative descriptions for its brand of pop punk. They say it’s like a bowl of mac ‘n cheese with cut-up hot dogs and a glass of Kool-Aid. Or they say they play “spooky, broken rock ‘n roll for lovers.” Whatever they play, lead singer Davin Abegg wants his band’s music to be fun and catchy. He also says it’s a kind of therapy, not unlike religion. On Wednesday, Abegg and Secret Abilities are in-studio to talk about their music and what it means to “believe in rock ‘n roll.”

Matteo

Jul 25, 2012

After serving his LDS mission in China, Eric Chipman shipped a great big Chinese zither harp, or guzheng, home to Salt Lake City. He didn’t exactly know how to play it, but he ended up incorporating the guzheng into the folky bluegrass he writes. Chipman then rounded up some musician friends, got a hold of some more traditional Chinese instruments and formed the band Matteo. The band’s four members recently returned from a trip to China, where they learned to better play their instruments and the Chinese music that gives the band its unique sound. Matteo is playing in the RadioWest studio on Wednesday and they’ll chat with Doug about their sonic smelting of Eastern and Western music.

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